yesterday's wow quickly becomes today's ordinary
Why customer focus remains important, the fact that Amazon Prime subscriptions have topped 100M, free cash flow per share as an indicator rather than the usual corporate fascination with earnings and profit. why memos work better than power points and more super interesting insights from Jeff Bezos' 21 annual letters to shareholders.
Jean-Louis Gassée did a nice extract here. I think the paragraphs on customer expectations are a very good summary for why any organisation needs to put the customer at the heart of everything and keep continuous improvement:
Bezos was a bit overly dramatic about why customer focus is so crucial in 1998:
I constantly remind our employees to be afraid, to wake up every morning terrified. Not of our competition, but of our customers. Our customers have made our business what it is, they are the ones with whom we have a relationship, and they are the ones to whom we owe a great obligation. And we consider them to be loyal to us — right up until the second that someone else offers them a better service
By 2017, he had lightened up, but without losing the sense of the customers’ importance:
One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static — they go up. It’s human nature. We didn’t ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied. People have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday’s ‘wow’ quickly becomes today’s ‘ordinary’.